1955 Rose Bowl
41st Rose Bowl Game
1234 Total
USC 0700 7
Ohio State 01406 20
DateJanuary 1, 1955
StadiumRose Bowl
LocationPasadena, California
MVPDave Leggett (Ohio State QB)
FavoriteOhio State by 14 points [1]
RefereeEdward Wagner (AAWU;
split crew: AAWU, Big Ten)
Halftime showK. Massey & Archie Whatley
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersMel Allen
Rose Bowl
 < 1954  1956

The 1955 Rose Bowl was the 41st edition of the college football bowl game, played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on Saturday, January 1. The top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes of the Big Ten Conference defeated the USC Trojans of the Pacific Coast Conference, 20–7.[2][3][4]

Ohio State head coach Woody Hayes came into his first Rose Bowl tied for the national championship with PCC champion UCLA. However, #2 UCLA was locked out of the game because of the PCC's "no-repeat" rule,[5] enacted after California's third consecutive appearance in January 1951.


Ohio State

Main article: 1954 Ohio State Buckeyes football team

Ohio State quarterback Dave Leggett threw eleven passes, completing six, one a touchdown pass to Robert Archbald Watkins Jr.[4] Halfback Hopalong Cassady ran for 92 yards and led the Buckeyes to 304 yards on the ground and an overall advantage of 360-206 yards in total offense.


Main article: 1954 USC Trojans football team

The only touchdown by USC was an 86-yard punt return by Aramis Dandoy.

Game summary

The teams played in the first rainstorm to hit Pasadena during a Rose Bowl in more than 50 years.[6] The fans were under umbrellas, and it rained during the entire game, turning the field to mud.[7]


First quarter

No scoring

Second quarter

Third quarter

No scoring

Fourth quarter


Game notes


  1. ^ "Ohio State 2 TD favorite over Southern Cal". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. January 1, 1955. p. 11.
  2. ^ "Ohio State subdues USC, 20-7". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. January 2, 1955. p. 1, sports.
  3. ^ "Buckeyes drub USC 20-7". Eugene Register-Guard. United Press. January 2, 1955. p. 1C.
  4. ^ a b Rose Bowl 1955 Archived July 18, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, from RoseBowlHistory.com.
  5. ^ Boyles, Bob; Paul Guido (2007). 50 Years of College Football: A Modern History of America's Most Colorful Sport. Skyhorse Publishing Inc. p. 58. ISBN 978-1-60239-090-4.
  6. ^ 2011 Rose Bowl Historic Media Guide, Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, December 2011
  7. ^ Lesmirises, Doug - Buckeyes Rose Bowl Rewind: National championship glory in the mud of 1955. Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 16, 2009 Quote: "Through mud, slime, murk and driving rain, Ohio State's dauntless Buckeyes today reached the all-time zenith of the University's football history. Ploughing through muck in the fog and semi-darkness, the Buckeyes vanquished Southern California, 20 to 7, in the worst weather conditions of Rose Bowl history."